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Thread: Newbie needs advice

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    Newbie needs advice

    I'm a brand new pool owner and opening for the first time. I'm learning quick (sometimes the hard way). I uncovered the pool Saturday to find a BLACK SWAMP. I think the last owners knew it wasn't going to be their problem and closed it (in 2015 BTW) with leaves in the bottom. I also lost some but not a lot of leaves when removing the cover.

    I leaf netted as much as I could find without being able to see anything. I took a sample to the pool store (grrrrrr.). They gave me flock, algecide, and shock and sent me on my way (minus $100). I did the two day routine they provided, vacuumed to waste, backwashed, changed my DE media, etc, leaf raked, skimmed, vacuumed, repeated, etc.. I took a new sample on Monday night and came out with the same protocol and chemicals (minus the flock). That's when I found this site. Since last night, I have been adding bleach (5.25%) by the gallon using the pool calculator. I have also three tablets in a 'floater' (from the pool company, of course) which I get the feeling aren't doing anything.

    The pool has definitely been getting better. It went from BLACK (Sat-sun) to brown/green (sun-Mon) to green/turquoise (Tues/wed.). Lots of foam on the surface. The samples the pool store analyzed showed very little CYA (2-3) so I've been trying to maintain 10 ppm chlorine. I can get it there but I can't keep up! I got it up to 10 ppm FC last night and it was close to 0 this morning. I since got it back up and it's down again. The pool has also been getting foamy on top.

    All i have right now is test strips from the previous owner. I ordered the Taylor kit (6000, I believe) recommended in Pool School but won't have it for a week!

    I figure i need to vacuum again to remove organics off the bottom? Should I add stabilizer to help the chlorine last, or is the chlorine loss more due to the algae and organics that are left (I'm in upstate NY and it has been cool and cloudy mostly since I uncovered but the next several days will be warmer (75ish) and much more sun? Should I be concerned with Ph and TA yet? The numbers have been around 6.2 Ph and 40-60 TA thus far. Any other advice would be greatly appreciated.

    I also had a plumbing leak underground which was fixed today so I've been needing to add about 1,000 gallons a day of new water. (I'm on public water supply of good quality). That's probably helped 'dilute' the dirtiness. Anyway, the leak is gone now.

    Thanks in advance!
    ~22k gal (36' x16') IG concrete pool with vinyl liner.
    3/4 HP Hayward Pump. Hayward EC75A DE Filter
    Laars Lite 2 Heater. Taylor K-2006 Test Kit
    https://www.facebook.com/domenic.emi...09148469284789
    Binghamton, NY (Upstate)

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    Mod Squad Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie needs advice

    You have a few things you can do right now. First priority to me would be to increase the pH right away to 7.2. Anything below that is way too corrosive. You can use some borax or soda ash if you have it and that will work fine. Once you've done that, I'd focus on continuing to remove all the physical debris you can from the pool. While waiting for the Taylor K-2006, you can sweep/brush/net anything you can get. You can also run the pool on recirculate if you have a multiport valve. If you have a plunger valve, then you can't do that.

    Because your water has sat for so long, I wouldn't bother trying to do anything chemically right now (except that pH). You can stock-up on bleach, but don't bother adding it yet. Also have some granular stabilizer ready, but again, don't add it yet. Just adjust pH to 7.2 and scoop/sweep debris until the kit arrives.

    Once the kit arrives, here's what I would recommend:
    - Test to confirm CYA - I suspect it's zero
    - Confirm pH at 7.2.
    - Increase FC to "10" and re-test in 10 minutes. If it stayed above 5, that's good! Add your prescribed stabilizer to increase CYA to "30" per the Poolmath calculator. However, if the FC dropped below 5 in those 10-minutes (bad), increase FC "immediately" with bleach and retest in another 10 minutes. Continue this process until FC holds over 5.
    - Once you pass that 10-min drill, you can now add stabilizer to the water (CYA of 30) and increase FC to "12". Follow the SLAM process (link below).

    This should get you going. After the SLAM, we can evaluate all of your test parameters and go from there.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Re: Newbie needs advice

    Howdy, and welcome to TFP!

    [Edits in strike through]Listen to Texas Splash as there is more experience there[/Edits in strike through]

    Hold off on adding ANYTHING other than bleach until your test kit comes in. We don't trust pool store testing and the guess strips are just that. I saw one of the regulars post a day or so ago that you will just be as well off testing by taste as by test strips.

    I hope you got the K-2006C, as it has larger quantities of the reagents you will need to get this pond back to a pool. Once your test kit comes in, post a full set of numbers and we can guide you from there. Continue reading in pool school in the mean time.
    310 gallon Tiger River Sumatran Spa, covered, standalone, fiberglass, Bleach
    11,000 gallon in-ground plaster pool, Hayward SmartFilter 550 (cartridge), CompuPool(Hayward) T-15 SWG, Hayward Super II pump
    Taylor Test Kit K-2006C, K-1766, SampleSizer, SpeedStir, Polaris P825

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    Re: Newbie needs advice

    Thank you.

    Texas, Will my algae not get out of control without chlorine for a week? Should I leave the 'floater/tablets' in?

    It seems like I'm making so much progress. It seems counter intuitive to stop now just to wait for a test kit. I'm not doubting. Just looking for an education.

    should I keep running the pump/filter? It's a de filter. I'm not sure what you mean by recirculate setting or plunger valve. My pump goes directly into filter and out to pool (until the heater gets fixed).

    Should I vacuum? To waste?

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    Mod Squad Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie needs advice

    Texas, Will my algae not get out of control without chlorine for a week? Should I leave the 'floater/tablets' in?
    It certainly could. Not sure if I misunderstood you above, or if you're leaving for a while. But when you do that 10-min drill I mentioned above, you go right into the SLAM. There's no waiting for a week. Don't use the tabs. They won't help with a black/green pool. The reason it may seem counterintuitive is because we don't really know why the chlorine is disappearing so fast. That's why we need your K-2006 test kit. With that kit, you will confirm the CYA first, then you'll be able to do the 10-min drill as well. With water that has been sitting for so long before you took possession of the pool, there's a possibility of ammonia in the water. The 10-min drill will resolve it. But if you add stabilizer now, it could make it worse. If you add chlorine in arbitrary amounts, you're just wasting money. Believe me, we want to see you clear-up that pool, but at the same time not waste money. We've all been in your shoes.

    As for running your pump system, I understand it's a DE filter, but usually DE filters have one of two types of handles for backwashing - either a multiport valve or vertical plunger valve. Maybe you could take a pic of your system for us? But if you know how to vacuum to waste, sure, do it. The more physical junk you remove the better.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: Newbie needs advice

    Ok. I understand the filter now. I do not have a multi port valve. Just a 'bump' handle for recharging.


    ~22k gal (36' x16') IG concrete pool with vinyl liner.
    3/4 HP Hayward Pump. Hayward EC75A DE Filter
    Laars Lite 2 Heater. Taylor K-2006 Test Kit
    https://www.facebook.com/domenic.emi...09148469284789
    Binghamton, NY (Upstate)

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    Re: Newbie needs advice

    And thank you for all the advice.


    ~22k gal (36' x16') IG concrete pool with vinyl liner.
    3/4 HP Hayward Pump. Hayward EC75A DE Filter
    Laars Lite 2 Heater. Taylor K-2006 Test Kit
    https://www.facebook.com/domenic.emi...09148469284789
    Binghamton, NY (Upstate)

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    Re: Newbie needs advice

    Since my original post...
    My dad lives next door and had dumped 4 more bottles of bleach into the pool (this afternoon). Tonight, i vacuumed to waste. I got the Ph up to 6.8 with about 110 oz of washing soda. So I added another 55 oz. just now. Will check in morning. I also have. TA of 80.

    I also still had chlorine around 5 ppm. Again this is all just going by the strips. I don't want to stop that now because there is visible progress and my test kit isn't arriving until NEXT Thursday. I'll see where levels are in the morning. Hopefully the ph is around 7.2 and there is still some chlorine left and I'll go from there. Maybe then I will do the 10 min drill and perhaps SLAM. Is that a complete waste doing so with the strips? I won't add conditioner until I get my test kit. If there is measurable/visible improvement, I am hesitant to stop the bleach.

    Do tell me if I'm crazy!


    ~22k gal (36' x16') IG concrete pool with vinyl liner.
    3/4 HP Hayward Pump. Hayward EC75A DE Filter
    Laars Lite 2 Heater. Taylor K-2006 Test Kit
    https://www.facebook.com/domenic.emi...09148469284789
    Binghamton, NY (Upstate)

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    Mod Squad Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie needs advice

    You're not crazy ... yet. But I didn't realize you were still waiting on the test kit. So don't get too far ahead of yourself. Be patient. You really need the FAS-DPD portion from the test kit to perform the 10-min drill and stuff "accurately". No guesswork here at TFP. With a 22K pool, you should be safe adding 1 gallon per day, but I wouldn't add too much at any one time. If the CYA is low to non-existent in the water, bleach is much more potent. Continue with brushing and moving water around though. All of that will help before the kit arrives.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Re: Newbie needs advice

    That sounds like a great plan that I can follow!
    ~22k gal (36' x16') IG concrete pool with vinyl liner.
    3/4 HP Hayward Pump. Hayward EC75A DE Filter
    Laars Lite 2 Heater. Taylor K-2006 Test Kit
    https://www.facebook.com/domenic.emi...09148469284789
    Binghamton, NY (Upstate)

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    Re: Newbie needs advice

    My test kit came early. Here are my results:

    FC-7.4
    CC-0.4
    pH-8.0. Acid Demand: 2 Drops
    TA-100
    CYA-0 (could clearly see black dot with full vial)

    From what I understand, I need to get my pH down to 7.2-7.4 and get my CYA up to 30 or 40. And then begin the slam. The pool is still green. I bumped my DE filter and scrubbed the pool yesterday.

    thanks for any advice before I SLAM!
    ~22k gal (36' x16') IG concrete pool with vinyl liner.
    3/4 HP Hayward Pump. Hayward EC75A DE Filter
    Laars Lite 2 Heater. Taylor K-2006 Test Kit
    https://www.facebook.com/domenic.emi...09148469284789
    Binghamton, NY (Upstate)

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    Mod Squad Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie needs advice

    From what I understand, I need to get my pH down to 7.2-7.4 and get my CYA up to 30 or 40. And then begin the slam. The pool is still green. I bumped my DE filter and scrubbed the pool yesterday.
    Yes, great plan. To help with lowering the pH, you can use the Poolmath calculator which is very convenient to determine the correct dosage of muriatic acid... and to determine the stabilizer amount as well.

    For FC testing, simply use the 10ML water sample with one heaping scoop of powder & mix. Count drops until clear and divide by 2. Example: 14 drops = FC of 7. Your SLAM FC will be "12" if CYA is at 30; or will be "16" if CYA is at 40.

    Good luck!
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Re: Newbie needs advice

    Added CYA. I massaged the socks a lot and it disolved very quick. I used pool math to get it to 30-40 CYA and I'm at 55? Could it be reading high because it isn't fully disolved yet?

    My FC isn't dropping too fast. I'm keeping FC over 20. I scrubbed the pool thoroughly and changed my DE for the second time this week.

    anything else I should be checking or doing?
    ~22k gal (36' x16') IG concrete pool with vinyl liner.
    3/4 HP Hayward Pump. Hayward EC75A DE Filter
    Laars Lite 2 Heater. Taylor K-2006 Test Kit
    https://www.facebook.com/domenic.emi...09148469284789
    Binghamton, NY (Upstate)

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    Mod Squad Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie needs advice

    Could it be reading high because it isn't fully disolved yet?
    That wouldn't do it. Is it a bright sunny day outside where you are looking into the viewing tube? If it's not bright outside, that could explain the dot disappearing a little faster. If that's not it, then either there was some CYA (or more than you thought) in the water previously, or it's simply the CYA +/- 15ppm variance in testing.

    No worries. If it is 55, round-up to 60 and increase FC to "24" which is the matching SLAM FC level. Keep-up with everything else and you should begin to see changes for the better soon.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Re: Newbie needs advice

    Texas,
    I really appreciate your continued input. It was overcast most of the day where I am so maybe that was it. I will test again tomorrow. FC is at 28 right now and seems to not be dropping too fast at all. I guess that's a good thing. Scrubbed again tonight.

    Im excited to start seeing changes hopefully. Fingers crossed. And thanks again!
    ~22k gal (36' x16') IG concrete pool with vinyl liner.
    3/4 HP Hayward Pump. Hayward EC75A DE Filter
    Laars Lite 2 Heater. Taylor K-2006 Test Kit
    https://www.facebook.com/domenic.emi...09148469284789
    Binghamton, NY (Upstate)

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    Re: Newbie needs advice

    IMG_5093.jpg
    Here is my green oasis. I'm also in the middle of a new concrete deck project.
    ~22k gal (36' x16') IG concrete pool with vinyl liner.
    3/4 HP Hayward Pump. Hayward EC75A DE Filter
    Laars Lite 2 Heater. Taylor K-2006 Test Kit
    https://www.facebook.com/domenic.emi...09148469284789
    Binghamton, NY (Upstate)

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    Mod Squad Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie needs advice

    Wow. That really IS a green one. OKay, stick with the FC of 28 and retest the CYA tomorrow if the sun is out (bright). Here's my own personal CYA tip:
    Proper lighting is critical for the CYA test, so you want to test for CYA outside on a bright sunny day. Taylor recommends standing outside with your back to the sun and the view tube in the shade of your body. Use the mixing bottle to combine/gently mix the required amounts of pool water and R-0013 reagent, let sit for 30 seconds, then gently mix again. Then, while holding the skinny tube with the black dot at waist level, begin squirting the mixed solution into the skinny tube. Watch the black dot until it completely disappears. Once it disappears, record the CYA reading. After the first test, you can pour the mixed solution from the skinny view tube back to the mixing bottle, shake, and do the same test a second, third, or fourth time to instill consistency in your technique, become more comfortable with the testing, and validate the CYA reading.
    Also, I'd like to see a closer pic of the water tomorrow if possible. The water has a very thick green look to it, so I'm curious to see if I see anything else that may be happening other than just algae. We ruled-out ammonia with the 10-min drill earlier, and I realize the pool was black when you opened, so I'm optimistic to see slight changes over the next couple days. Make sure to take at least one pic each day about the same time to compare water contrast. It will help. It's also very important to stay on water movement, brushing, and filter cleaning as I suspect your filter will be working overtime for the next week or two.

    This will be quite a transformation, so be patient, vigilant, and consistent. We'll watch your progress and help guide you each day. Have a nice evening.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Re: Newbie needs advice

    IMG_5094.jpg

    I hope you you can see this. I had the return jet pointing down over night. The floor of the pool is s noticeably different color in that area...much less 'white'. Do you think this is an indication of dead algae settled in the bottom? I assume I should vacuum and to waste? Are my assumptions here accurate?

    any other thoughts on color with this updated picture?

    I also took took out the tablet floater this morning I don't want anymore CYA!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Also, FC only dropped from 28 to 25 overnight. I did bump it up some anyway so it can remain over shock level while I'm at work.
    ~22k gal (36' x16') IG concrete pool with vinyl liner.
    3/4 HP Hayward Pump. Hayward EC75A DE Filter
    Laars Lite 2 Heater. Taylor K-2006 Test Kit
    https://www.facebook.com/domenic.emi...09148469284789
    Binghamton, NY (Upstate)

  19. Back To Top    #19
    Mod Squad Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie needs advice

    Very good pic! You are doing well. Your thoughts are good too. You can vacuum to waste if you believe you have debris still in the pool that you can't see. Keep in mind that with each backwash and vacuum to waste that you may lose some CYA and of course FC, so make sure to check those periodically. If the CYA drops, that's okay because it will allow you to lower the SLAM FC level and save you some bleach. Dead algae will typically get caught in the filter which you'll see from an increased psi pressure on the gauge.

    The image looks like a pool full of algae. I'm not seeing anything else at this point to warrant any other advise other than doing the SLAM. So continue the good work of maintaining the FC level as best as you can - work permitting of course. It will take some time, but chlorine is the optimal cleanser for algae. Sit back and let the SLAM do its job. Have a good day.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: Newbie needs advice

    Thank you Texas,
    other than dead algae, I don't think I have very much debris left at all. I've been scrubbing pretty aggressively and only have an occasional leaf float up into view (I've been skimming as many of those as possible). I can almost see bottom in the shallow end when I put the leaf skimmer in to the bottom.

    IMG_5084.jpg

    Heres the water upon uncovering last saturday.
    ~22k gal (36' x16') IG concrete pool with vinyl liner.
    3/4 HP Hayward Pump. Hayward EC75A DE Filter
    Laars Lite 2 Heater. Taylor K-2006 Test Kit
    https://www.facebook.com/domenic.emi...09148469284789
    Binghamton, NY (Upstate)

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